The co-ordinator of the Microbiology Department at Son Espases Hospital has criticised what he called excessive alarm over the new Covid-19 variant.
"The alarm that has been generated about the omicron variant of Covid-19 is excessive considering that information about transmission, severity and resistance to existing vaccines is rather scarce,” said Dr Antonio Oliver. “Everything points to the omicron variant being more transmissible, but we must wait for more data in this regard."
No cases of the omicron variant of Covid-19 have been detected in the Balearic Islands, but Dr Oliver says it’s just a matter of time.
The Son Espases Microbiology Department has all the necessary tools to detect the omicron variant via both PCR tests and sequencing. All of the tests analysed in the last few months have been the Delta variant.
"We now have a rebound in cases, which is what worries us and although these omicron mutations may be associated with lower vaccine efficacy, overall, it will continue to be effective,” said Dr Oliver who pointed out that vaccines should gradually adapt to the new variants. He is also in favour of giving booster jabs every year, but said that's something that must be debated and agreed by experts, who will also determine which groups require a booster.
Dr Oliver insisted on the importance of vaccination and said it’s extremely important to get the population of Africa vaccinated as soon as possible.
"Variations occur where the vaccination rate is low, so vaccinating people in these places is an investment in global health," he said. “Covid-19 will eventually be similar to a seasonal virus.”